Children’s Charity of the Bluegrass closes after more than 40 years

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) – A long-standing charity in our area has had to wind down its work.

The Children’s Charity of the Bluegrass has raised millions of dollars for dozens of local organizations, with a focus on the health, welfare and education of Commonwealth children.

After 41 years of service and over $15 million in donations, the Children’s Charity of the Bluegrass is coming to an end.

“I’m sad about it but I’m also extremely proud of everything we’ve done. We have always been an all-volunteer organization,” Kim Sweazy said.

Sweazy is a past president of the organization and has helped donate some of their latest checks to local charities here at WKYT.

It’s a gesture of pure generosity and one they’ve given many times before. But after this year, Children’s Charity donations will unfortunately no longer be.

“The charity may not be there next year. But the impact they’ve had on this community isn’t going away anytime soon,” said Wynn Stephens, executive director of the Children’s Advocacy Center of the Bluegrass.

Sweazy said it all started with their golf classic, and although fans have now taken their last shots for the organization, Sweazy is still amazed at how their group has grown over the years.

The Children’s Charity has grown from one group in 1981 to 43 today, all of which are improving the lives of our most vulnerable populations.

“Children’s Charity stepped in and helped our organization ensure children in Kentucky, from Paducah to Harlan, northern Kentucky and everywhere in between, have access to the gift of sound,” said Marcey Ansley, executive director from the Hearing and Speech Center.

Sweazy says they made the difficult decision due to challenges caused by COVID, rising costs and competing charities.

Sweazy knows that the charities they supported really relied on the dollars they brought in, so she encourages people to keep volunteering your time and money to them as much as you can.

“If there’s a time in this world, it’s time to reach out to a child and really do whatever you can to make your life better, because they are the future,” Sweazy said.

Sweazy said the money raised from last year’s golf classic was fully donated. Over $350,000 will be distributed among the 43 charities they support.

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